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American Resistance To Empire

Syria Received 24 S-300 Launchers and 300 Missiles…FOR FREE

Russia provided Syria two dozen S-300 launchers, 300 missiles for free: report

A Russian S-300 PMU2 Favorit surface-to-air missile system in Alabino, outside Moscow, last year.
AFP

Russia provided Syria’s military with two dozen advanced S-300 aerial missile defense launchers at no charge, a military source told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency on Monday.

The source said that the 24 S-300 launchers were transferred to Syria in three battalion sets with eight launchers each, and described the systems as “in good condition and are capable of performing combat tasks.”

“On October 1, three battalion sets of S-300PM systems of eight launchers each were delivered to Syria,” the source told the agency.

“These systems were previously deployed at one of the Russian aerospace forces’ regiments which now uses the [S-400] systems. The S-300 systems underwent capital repairs at Russian defense enterprises, are in good condition, and are capable of performing combat tasks,” he said.

The source added that the systems were given to Damascus for free, along with 100 surface-to-air guided missiles for each battalion — an arsenal of 300 in all.

Ties between Russia and Israel hit a snag last month over the accidental downing of a Russian jet by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli air raid in Latakia province on September 17, killing 15 Russian serviceman.

AFPLe président russe Vladimir Poutine et le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou 
AFP

Blaming Israel over the incident, Russia transferred its advanced S-300 missile defense system to Syria — a move Israel branded “irresponsible”.

Israel and the United States have vociferously opposed the decision by Russia to supply such weaponry to Syria, which they claim could exacerbate an already volatile situation and could impede Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold in the region.

Until the incident, Russia — which is backing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government forces in the country’s civil war — had largely given Israeli warplanes a free hand over Syrian skies turning a blind eye to frequent strikes on Iranian positions and convoys transferring weapons to Hezbollah, the Iranian backed proxy operating in Syria.

But the delivery of the S-300 to Syria makes Israeli jets far more vulnerable in any future operations in the country.

Netanyahu has nonetheless reiterated that Israel will continue to act “at all times to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria and to thwart the transfer of lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Netanyahu said Sunday that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to meet “soon” to discuss continued military coordination in Syria.

The meeting would be the first between the two leaders since the friendly fire incident over Syria.

Deemed to be more efficient and advanced than any other interceptor missile system currently in Syrian possession, the S-300 can intercept not only planes but also ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 250 kilometers and at a very high altitude.

The S-300 system and the more advanced S-400 have been operational in Syria since 2016 but have only been used to protect Russian apparatus.

15 assassination squad and Jamal Khashoggi

 

MORNING, Saudi journalist Jamal Soonbill ‘s events involved in the disappearance of 15 people in the middle of mysterious intelligence team, reached the input images while Ataturk Airport in Turkey.

There's 15 assassination squad
SABAH announces the identity of the mysterious intelligence team of 15 people involved in the abduction of Saudi journalist Cemal Kaşıkçı , who disappeared after he entered the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2.

There's 15 assassination squad
Two people departing from Riyadh and landing at Ataturk Airport on 2 October with HZ SK1 and HZ SK2 tail number two Gulfstream IV private jet:

There's 15 assassination squad
1 – Meshal Saad M Albostani (born 1987): Passed the passport point at 01:45 . I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. He left the passport at 21:54 private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation.

There's 15 assassination squad
2- Salah Muhammad A Tubaigy (born in 1971): He arrived at Atatürk Airport on 2 October at 03:38 with a private jet owned by Sky Prime Aviation. I stayed at Mövenpick Hotel. At 20:29, he drove off again with a private jet.

There's 15 assassination squad
3- Naif Hassan S. Alarifi (born in 1986): Arrived on a scheduled plane, at 16:12 , he made the passport. I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. At 21:45, Sky Prime Aviation departed for a private jet.

There's 15 assassination squad
4- Muhammed Saad H. Alzahrani (born in 1988): He arrived on a scheduled flight from Ataturk Airport, at 16:53 he made a pass from the passport. I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. At 21:48 am, he left the passport to return to the private jet of Sky Prime Aviation.

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5- Mansur Othman M. Abahüseyin (born in 1972): He arrived on a scheduled flight from Atatürk Airport, arriving at the passport at 16:13. I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. He left the passport at 21:45.

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6- Khaled Aedh G. Altaibi (born in 1988): Arrived by scheduled plane to Ataturk Airport, arriving at the passport at 01:44. I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. He checked out of the passport at 20:28.

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7- Abdulaziz Muhammed M. Alhawsawi (born 1987): Arrived to Ataturk Airport by scheduled plane, arriving at the passport at 01:43. I stayed at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. Sky Prime Aviation, a private jet company returned from the passport at 20:28.

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8. Waleed Abdullah M. Alsehri (born in 1980): arrived at Atatürk Airport by private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation, entered at 3:41 pm. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He drove off again at 17.45pm to return to the private jet.

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9- Turki Musharraf M. Alsehri (born in 1982): Arrived by private jet, arriving at the passport at 03:39. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He drove off again at 17.45pm to return to the private jet.

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10- Thaar Ghaleb T. Alharbi (born 1979): arrived at Atatürk Airport by private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation, entered at 3:41 pm. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. It was a private jet at 17.40.

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11 – Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb (born in 1971): Arrived by private jet at Atatürk Airport, arriving at the passport at 03:38. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. She left at 17:57.

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12- Fahad Shabib A. Albalawi (born 1985): Sky Prime came from Aviation’s private jet. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He drove off again at 17.45.

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13- Badr Lafi M. Alotaibi (born in 1973): He arrived at Atatürk Airport by private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. He entered the passport from 3:41 am. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He drove off again at 17.45pm to return to the private jet.

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14- Mustafa Muhammed M. Almadani (born in 1961): He arrived at Atatürk Airport by a private jet owned by Sky Prime Aviation. He entered the passport at 3:41 am. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He left at 00:18, on a scheduled flight.

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15- Saif Saad Q Alqahtani (born in 1973): He arrived at Atatürk Airport by private jet belonging to Sky Prime Aviation. At 3:41 pm he entered the passport. I stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel. He left the passport at 00:20 to go scheduled.

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CESET CONTROL IN THE VALUES

In the safety report, it is stated that the persons who are going to be on the plane have checked the General Aviation Terminal to see whether the bags they have passed through the X-RAY device have been checked and the following information is given:

“When the X-RAY security guard was asked, ‘If there are fragmented body parts in these luggage, it can be seen at the time of passing through the devices”, and the security officer stated that the marks of the body parts can be seen from the device and therefore there are no negative images in the luggage of 7 passengers. The unit was live watched at 22:00 and the parking area of ​​the aircraft was detected and the camera angles were recorded.

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INVESTIGATION OF CONSULATION

The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, Saudi Arabia’s consul general of Istanbul, disappeared after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Cemal Kaşıkçı’ya, “Consulate building will be examined in the building” information. Aksoy, Kaşıkçı’nın answered the question about the situation. “The investigation initiated by our authorities for the purpose of detecting the fate of the past is being carried out intensively,” he said. In the framework of the consulate building will be examined. ” The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also appointed a deputy attorney general and a public prosecutor for the judicial proceedings in the consulate. Last night at 21.30, three people entered the back door of the Consulate General with a tool kit. People staying for 1 hour in the interior of some of the door locks were suggested. In other news, UN Human Rights Office spokesman Ravina Shamdasani commented on the disappearance of Cemal Kasikci, “If the reports reported about his death are true, this is really shocking.”

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POLICE AIRPLANE SEARCHED DIDDY DID

On October 2, when the incident and the police officers were on the scene, HZ searched for the SK2 tail-numbered special jeep and examined all the camera records. According to the report prepared after this review, “MIT staff, according to the declaration of the possibility of kidnapping Cemal Kasikçı’nın confirmed, related to the issue to the point manager to promptly provide the passenger and crew information was given instructions, 7 passengers waiting in the hall was checked visually but the person sought this It was seen that there was not between passengers “. The aircraft was allowed to take off when there was no negativity.

İşte 15 kişilik suikast timiThere’s 15 assassination squad

The last appearance of Cemal Kaşıkçı (60), who was involved in the disappearances at the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, showed the moment when he entered the consulate building. The vehicles entering the house of the Consul General were examined. 2.5 hours after entering Kaşıkçı’s Consulate General, it was determined that six vehicles carrying 15 Saudi officials and the intelligence team emerged from the consulate general. The Mercedes-Vito-branded consulate-general vehicle, which also includes Kaşıkçı, entered the residence of Consulate General Muhammad al-Katibi, 200 meters from the consulate, along with another Audi brand. According to the determination of the safety of the vehicle in question, 3 days after staying in the condo returned to the building.

There’s 15 assassination squad

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TRUMP: THE CONCERN

US President Donald Trump commented on the missing journalist Cemal Kasikci and said, “I am worried. Nobody knows anything at the moment. Trump also announced that he would meet with Saudi officials regarding the occasion of Kaşıkçı. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, were found in Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s calls to give more information to fully cooperate for the investigation carried out.

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Saudi journalist Cemal Kasikci, 3 days before the disappearance of the interview, “Criticizing journalists are arrested. Arrested even not dissent. These people frighten,” he emerged. In an interview with the BBC, “I’m just a journalist. The Washington Post has given me an area and I write my thoughts there freely. I wish that opportunity had been given to me in my own country.” specified.

 

Watchdog demanded investigation into Nikki Haley’s private flights before she resigned

Watchdog demanded investigation into Nikki Haley’s private flights before she resigned

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced her resignation Tuesday after a watchdog group demanded that the State Department investigate private flights she accepted from South Carolina businessmen while serving in her current role.

[READ: Nikki Haley’s letter of resignation]

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a request Monday with the State Department’s inspector general asking that Haley be investigated over seven free flights on luxury aircraft she and her husband were gifted by three prominent executives in her home state of South Carolina.

The nonprofit organization, known as CREW, estimated that the air travel between New York, Washington, and three cities in South Carolina was worth “tens of thousands of dollars” to the ambassador.

In a press release, CREW said Haley’s 2017 public financial disclosure report stated the flights were not prohibited by federal ethics regulations because of her personal relationship with the men.

“The report, however, does not provide enough information to demonstrate that this exception was applicable to the flights,” the group wrote in a statement. “Whether the exception applies depends partly on whether the three businessmen were the only sources of the gifts; if business entities were sources of the gifts, the exception was inapplicable.”

Haley confirmed Tuesday she would be departing the top diplomatic post at the end of the year during a White House press event with President Trump in the Oval Office.

Chinese To Sell 48 High-End Attack/Spy Drones To Pakistan To Offset Indian S-400s

FILE – In this Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, file photo, a model of the Wing Loong II weaponized drone hangs above the stand for the China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corp. at a military drone conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones. The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing’s ambitions of being a world leader in high-tech arms sales. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)

 

China to sell 48 high-end military drones to Pakistan

BEIJING: China will sell 48 high-end armed drones to its “all-weather ally” Pakistan in what a military observer said will be the largest deal of its kind, official media here reported Tuesday.

The cost of the major defence deal was not revealed.


Wing Loong II is a high-end reconnaissance, strike and multi-role endurance unmanned aerial system, capable of being fitted with air-to-surface weapons.

 


It is roughly equivalent to the American MQ-9 Reaper drone.

The drones will also be jointly manufactured by China and Pakistan, state-run Global Times reported.

Last year, China reportedly sold to countries like the UAE and Egypt the Wing Loong II at an estimated USD 1 million per unit, reports said.

China, an “all-weather ally” of Islamabad, is the largest supplier of weapon system to the Pakistan Army. Both the countries also jointly manufacture JF-Thunder a single engine multi-role combat aircraft.

The announcement by China to permit the sale of high-end military drones comes in the immediate backdrop of India’s move to acquire S-400 sophisticated missile defence systems from Russia. The deal was clinched during last week’s visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi.


The Trump administration has agreed to sell sell 22 Sea Guardian drones to India. The country is reported to have received 10 advanced Heron drones from Israel as well.

 

The deal for the acquisition of the drones manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company was announced by Pakistan Air Force’s Sherdils Aerobatic Team on its official Facebook account on Sunday, the Global Times report said without giving details about when the deal was struck or when the drones would be delivered.

The air force academy aerobatics team announced that in the future, the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Company will jointly manufacture the drones, the report said.

Wing Loong II drone made its maiden flight in February last year, an earlier report by the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

A report in December last year said Wing Loong II has already obtained the largest order of Chinese UAVs in the overseas market, even before its maiden flight. But the report did not specify the buyer.

According to the report, the system is composed of the ground station and various number of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Within 10 months of its maiden flight, multiple live firing tests had been conducted in accordance with the requirement of its customers, including stationary targets, moving targets, time sensitive targets and air-ground coordination, the report said.

A deal involving as many as 48 Wing Loong IIs, if confirmed, would be China’s largest export deal for drones to date, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

It makes sense the aerobatic team was closely involved with the deal, Song said, noting that the team is expected to train the drone operators.

The deal is trustworthy given the close military ties between the two countries and Pakistan’s need for drones, Song said.

US drones like the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are technologically more advanced, but Washington limits their export, Song said.

Chinese drones will enjoy more success in the international market in the future, he said, as they perform similarly at a lower cost.

China still lags behind the US, Russia and France in total arms sales but it is catching up. Chinese arms exports rose by 38 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks the global arms trade.

Pak Govt Cuts Chinese CPEC Lifeline/Gwadar Development Handed To Saudis

Authored by James Dorsey via Mid East Soccer blog,

Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter feud with Iran at the People’s Republic’s expense.

The Pakistani moves threaten a key leg of the USD60 billion plus Chinese investment in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crown jewel of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road initiative.

They also could jeopardize Chinese hopes to create a second overland route to Iran, a key node in China’s transportation links to Europe. Finally, they grant Saudi Arabia a prominent place in the Chinese-funded port of Gwadar that would significantly weaken Iran’s ability to compete with its Indian-backed seaport of Chabahar.

Pakistan’s first move became evident in early September with the government’s failure to authorise disbursements for road projects, already hit by delays in Chinese approvals, that are part of CPEC’s Western route, linking the province of Balochistan with the troubled region of Xinjiang in north-western China.

In doing so, Pakistan implicitly targeted a key Chinese driver for CPEC: the pacification of Xinjiang’s Turkic Muslim population through a combination of economic development enhanced by trade and economic activity flowing through CPEC as well as brutal repression and mass re-education.

The combination of Pakistani and Chinese delays “has virtually brought progress work on the Western route to a standstill,” a Western diplomat in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad said.

Pakistani Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, in a further bid to bring Pakistani government expenditure under control that at current rates could force the country to seek a $US 12 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has cut $2 billion dollars from the US$8.2 billion budget to upgrade and expand Pakistan’s railway network, a key pillar of CPEC. Mr. Rashid plans to slash a further two billion dollars.

“Pakistan is a poor country that cannot afford (the) huge burden of the loans…. CPEC is like the backbone for Pakistan, but our eyes and ears are open,” Mr. Rashid said.

The budget cuts came on the back of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party projecting CPEC prior to the July 25 election that swept him to power to as a modern-day equivalent of the British East India Company, which dominated the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century.

PTI criticism included denouncing Chinese-funded mass transit projects in three cities in Punjab as a squandering of funds that could have better been invested in social spending. PTI activists suggested that the projects had involved corrupt practices.

Pakistan’s final move was to invite Saudi Arabia to build a refinery in Gwadar and invest in Balochistan mining. Chinese questioning of Pakistan’s move was evident when the Pakistani government backed off suggestions that Saudi Arabia would become part of CPEC.

Senior Saudi officials this week visited Islamabad and Gwadar to discuss the deal that would also involve deferred payments on Saudi oil supplies to Pakistan and create a strategic oil reserve close to Iran’s border.

“The incumbent government is bringing Saudi Arabia closer to Gwadar. In other words, the hardline Sunni-Wahhabi state would be closer than ever to the Iranian border. This is likely to infuriate Tehran,”said Baloch politician and former Pakistani ports and shipping minister Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo.

Pakistan’s game of poker amounts to a risky gamble that serves Pakistani and Saudi purposes, puts China whose prestige and treasure are on the line in a difficult spot, could perilously spark tension along the Pakistan-Iran border, and is likely to provoke Iranian counter moves. It also risks putting Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, who depend on China economically in different ways, in an awkward position.

The Saudi engagement promises up to US$10 billion in investments as well as balance of payments relief. It potentially could ease US concerns that a possible IMF bailout would help Pakistan service debt to China.

A refinery and strategic oil reserve in Gwadar would serve Saudi Arabia’s goal of preventing Chabahar, the Indian-backed Iranian port, from emerging as a powerful Arabian Sea hub at a time that the United States is imposing sanctions designed to choke off Iranian oil exports.

A Saudi think tank, the International Institute for Iranian Studies, previously known as the Arabian Gulf Centre for Iranian Studies (AGCIS) that is believed to be backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, argued last year in a study that Chabahar posed “a direct threat to the Arab Gulf states” that called for “immediate counter measures.”

Written by Mohammed Hassan Husseinbor, an Iranian political researcher of Baloch origin, the study warned that Chabahar would enable Iran to increase its oil market share in India at the expense of Saudi Arabia, raise foreign investment in the Islamic republic, increase government revenues, and allow Iran to project power in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Mr. Husseinbor suggested that Saudi support for a low-level Baloch insurgency in Iran could serve as a countermeasure. “Saudis could persuade Pakistan to soften its opposition to any potential Saudi support for the Iranian Baluch… The Arab-Baluch alliance is deeply rooted in the history of the Gulf region and their opposition to Persian domination,” Mr. Husseinbor said.

Noting the vast expanses of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Mr. Husseinbor went on to say that “it would be a formidable challenge, if not impossible, for the Iranian government to protect such long distances and secure Chabahar in the face of widespread Baluch opposition, particularly if this opposition is supported by Iran’s regional adversaries and world powers.”

Saudi militants reported at the time the study was published that funds from the kingdom were flowing into anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian Sunni Muslim ultra-conservative madrassas or religious seminaries in Balochistan.

US President Donald J. Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, last year before assuming office, drafted at the request of Mr. Trump’s then strategic advisor, Steve Bannon, a plan that envisioned US support “for the democratic Iranian opposition,” including in Balochistan and Iran’s Sistan and Balochistan province.

All of this does not bode well for CPEC. China may be able to accommodate Pakistan by improving commercial terms for CPEC-related projects and Pakistani debt as well as easing Pakistani access to the Chinese market. China, however, is likely to find it far more difficult to prevent the Saudi-Iranian rivalry from spinning out of control in its backyard.

Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age

[In their relentless quest to create the appearance of “Russian aggression”, US diplomats push Russia and the US into a potential nuclear confrontation over CIA suppositions about Russian cruise missile developments.  Claiming with absolute certainty that Russian cruise missiles exceed ranges limited by the INF Treaty, US diplomats talk war to eliminate the Russian threat, ignoring undeniable evidence that US Aegis missile launcher systems now based in Romania can launch either the (SM-3) Standard Missile or Tomahawk missiles (nuclear or conventional warheads).  The Russian missile in question is cited as the 9M729 missile, a.k.a., “Iskander”.]

Russia Deploying Iskander Missiles To Westernmost Kaliningrad To Counter US Anti-Missile Deployments
Iskandar Missile—720 Kilos of High Explosive At Mach 3

US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone Age

PETER KORZUN

US Openly Threatens Russia with War: Goodbye Diplomacy, Hello Stone AgeUS Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison is a highly placed diplomat. Her words, whatever they may be, are official, which includes the ultimatums and threats that have become the language increasingly used by US diplomats to implement the policy of forceful persuasion or coercive diplomacy. Bellicose declarations are being used this way as a tool.

On Oct. 2, the ambassador proved it again. According to her statement, Washington is ready to use force against Russia. Actually, she presented an ultimatum — Moscow must stop the development of a missile that the US believes to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). If not, the American military will destroy it before the weapon becomes operational. “At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a (Russian) missile that could hit any of our countries,” Hutchison stated at a news conference. “Counter measures (by the United States) would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty,” she added. “They are on notice.” This is nothing other than a direct warning of a preemptive strike.

It is true that compliance with the INF Treaty is a controversial issue. Moscow has many times claimed that Washington was in violation, and that position has been substantiated. For instance, the Aegis Ashore system, which has been installed in Romania and is to be deployed in Poland, uses the Mk-41 launcher that is capable of firing intermediate-range Tomahawk missiles.

[A Tomahawk missile being launched from the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System]

This is a flagrant breach of the INF Treaty. The fact is undeniable. The US accuses Moscow of possessing and testing a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km (310-3,417 miles), but there has never been any proof to support this claim. Russia has consistently denied the charges. It says the missile in question — the 9M729 — is in compliance with the provisions of the treaty and has never been upgraded or tested for the prohibited range.

This is a reasonable assertion. After all, there is no way to prevent such tests from being detected and monitored by satellites. The US could raise the issue with the Special Verification Commission (SVC). Instead it threatens to start a war.

This is momentous, because the ambassador’s words were not a botched statement or an offhand comment, but in fact followed another “warning” made by a US official recently.

Speaking on Sept. 28 at an industry event in Pennsylvania hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suggested that the US Navy could be used to impose a blockade to restrict Russia’s energy trade. “The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade… to make sure that their energy does not go to market,” he said, revealing that this was an option. The Interior Department has nothing to do with foreign policy, but Mr. Zinke is a high-ranking member of the administration.

Two bellicose statements made one after another and both are just short of a declaration of war! A blockade is a hostile act that would be countered with force, and the US is well aware of this. It is also well aware that Russia will defend itself. It’s important to note that no comments or explanations have come from the White House. This confirms the fact that what the officials have said reflects the administration’s position.

This brings to mind the fact that the Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act has passed the House of Representatives. The legislation includes the authority to inspect Chinese, Iranian, Syrian, and Russian ports. Among the latter are the ports of Nakhodka, Vanino, and Vladivostok. This is an openly hostile act and a blatant violation of international law. If the bill becomes law, it will likely  start a war with the US acting as the aggressor.

Trident Juncture, the largest training event held by NATO since 2002, kicks off on October 25 and will last until November 7, 2018. It will take place in close proximity to Russia’s borders. Russia’s Vostok-2018 exercise in September was the biggest seen there since the Cold War, but it was held in the Far East, far from NATO’s area of responsibility. It’s NATO, not Russia, who is escalating the already tense situation in Europe by holding such a large-scale exercise adjacent to Russia’s borders.

Russia is not the only country to be threatened with war. Attempts are being made to intimidate China as well. Tensions are running high in the South China Sea, where US and Chinese ships had an “unsafe” interaction with each other on Sept. 30. A collision was barely avoided. As a result, US Defense Secretary James Mattis had to suspend his visit to China when it was called off by Beijing. The security dialog between the two nations has stalled.

Perhaps the only thing left to do is to give up on having a normal relationship with the United States. Ambassador Hutchison’s statement is sending a clear message of: “forget about diplomacy, we’re back to the Stone Age,” with Washington leading the way. This is the new reality, so get used to it. Just shrug it off and try to live without the US, but be vigilant and ready to repel an attack that is very likely on the way.

It should be noted that Moscow has never threatened the US with military action. It has never deployed military forces in proximity to America’s shores. It did not start all those unending sanctions and trade wars. When exposing the US violations of international agreements, it has never claimed that the use of force was an option. It has tried hard to revive the dialog on arms control and to coordinate operations in Syria. But it has also had to issue warnings about consequences, in case it were provoked to respond to a hostile act. If the worst happens, we’ll all know who is to blame. Washington bears the responsibility for pushing the world to the brink of war.

Americans Must End the War on Terror

Americans Must End the War on Terror

The War on Terror has been a waste of money, resources, and lives while also furthering government surveillance and the war economy.

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By Harley Austin | United States

17 years ago, on October 7th, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. They have been in the endless war since. As a result, thousands on both sides have died, and permanent scarring, both physical and mental, has affected countless others. The invasion of Afghanistan would also pave the way for the Iraq War and countless other U.S. interventions in the Middle East that continue to this day.

According to the United States government, they invaded Afghanistan to go after Al Qaeda, namely Osama Bin Laden. However, 17 years later, and 7 since Bin Laden’s death, over 8000 troops are still in the country. This, of course, is only a small part of the overall American presence in the Middle East.

Despite promises from multiple presidents to withdraw troops from the Middle East, the U.S. is still heavily involved. With 21 trillion dollars of national debt, a 720 billion dollar military budget, thousands of deaths, and Trump setting his sites on a new target: Iran, it’s time to serially evaluate the country’s massive military intervention. To do this, we have to analyze the results and intentions of our endless wars.

The Pretext of “Fighting Terrorism”

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” -James Madison

The primary excuse the government gives for American imperialism is “to fight terrorism”. However, this is absolutely fallacious, given the US’s history of funding terror groups or soon-to-be terror groups. Ignoring the anti-Soviet support of fundamentalist and nationalist “rebel” groups in the 1980s, the U.S. has funded numerous terror groups. In many cases, they have supplied groups with both money and equipment.

Most recently, the U.S. armed rebels in Syria in an attempt to topple Bashar Al-Assad. Similar practices have also taken place in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Yemen. In fact, a U.S. and Saudi coalition in Yemen is now allied with the Yemeni Al-Qaeda with the full support of its American members.

Counter-terrorism is also the excuse for a massive infringement upon American rights: massive surveillance. By passing the PATRIOT Act in wake of 9/11, the state virtually voided the right to privacy. The pretext for this has been the typical government security scam of “keeping people safe”.

However, there’s only one thing surveillance has kept safe: the government. Whether it be cruel and unusual punishments of suspected “terrorists” or the NSA’s collection of the private data of millions of innocent Americans without warrants, spying has been used the same way all government authority is used: to gain and maintain power.

The Pretext of “Spreading Democracy”

The second major excuse has been “spreading democracy” or “toppling dictators”. This has been a go-to excuse for unjust U.S. military intervention since Woodrow Wilson. Like the previous pretext, the idea of America “spreading democracy” is ridiculous, given its long track record of using coups, rebellions, and instability to install complacent dictators. From Latin America to South America, to Cold War Europe, to the Middle East, the U.S. has pulled the strings behind regime changes for over 100 years. Such a practice started as a means of expanding imperialist control over the world. Since then, it has grown in both scope and subtlety.

The first major case of “toppling dictators” in the Middle East was Saddam Hussein and the Iraq War in 2003. This also contained the myth that “Saddam had WMDs”, which clearly was not true. Saddam did, however, nationalize Iraqi oil, as mentioned below. The absolute fiasco of the “post”-war Iraq only led to massive instability and the rise of more terror groups. Conveniently, the U.S. was able to then start more wars.

A Fearsome Repetition

This whole scene repeated itself in Libya in 2011. This time, the official justification was a desire to bring a cease-fire to the Libyan Civil War. In reality, it was an obvious U.S. attempt to depose Gaddafi, who also nationalized the oil industry. Since then, there have been attempts to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through both supporting rebel groups and making questionable claims of using chemical weapons.

Now, however, the U.S. has set its sights on Iran, its Middle Eastern rival ever since the Iranian Revolution in the 70s. Ironically, it was the U.S.-backed 1953 coup (against an Iranian Prime Minister who nationalized the oil industry) and the Western-backed Shah that led to that revolution. Today, the United States accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism, despite doing so themselves. Unfortunately, another war or regime change appears imminent. However, the goal will merely be to remove a thorn from America’s side under the guise of good intention. War is what the United States wants, and it succeeds.

The Real Reasons: Oil and Empires

Now that we’ve covered the pretexts governments have used to justify the War on Terror, let’s look into two of the real reasons we’ve been at war. Like all empires in history, the United States is after resources. Specifically, they are targeting oil and imperialist might.

The Oligarchy of Oil

Oil companies have had massive pull in U.S. politics for decades. In domestic cases, they have used their influence to gain subsidies and “environmental protection” agencies to crush their competition. Once again, restrictions lead to cronyism, practically making “Big Oil” its own industrial complex. In foreign cases, oil companies used their millions in lobbying powers to protect their interests abroad.

The reason for this is simple. Denationalization of massive oil reserves brings a black gold rush of Western companies desperate to gain resources. The U.S. dollar is also the sole currency for international exchanging of petroleum. With great power over the oil trade comes a great desire to keep non-compliant countries in line.

The desire for oil also conveniently intertwines with the desire for imperialist control in one place: Saudi Arabia. A fundamentalist monarchy, Saudi Arabia has been a U.S. ally for decades. This is primarily due to the massive amount of oil we import from Saudi Arabia.

Middle Eastern Geopolitics

Moreover, there is another major issue at hand: the miniature Cold War between the Saudis and Iranians. Saudi Arabia, predominantly Sunni, and Iran, predominantly Shiite, have been fighting for centuries. However, things intensified during the Cold War, when the Soviets and Americans entered the mix. As America created instability, Iran and Saudi Arabia began a proxy war that has spread across the region. From Iraq to Syria to Yemen, the two have been funding insurgencies and allied terror groups.

Since Iran is an American enemy due to past intervention, the U.S. has allied with Saudi Arabia. It has also been willing to use its military might to crush Saudi enemies in order to maintain the oil-for-weapons trade. Such an alliance, along with the coalitions formed from it, have been behind numerous atrocities. Most recently, this includes the bombing of a bus full of Yemeni children.

The Military Industrial Complex

This leads to the main reason for modern warfare: defense contractors. Many may think that the inherently destructive consequences of war mean that nations would want to avoid them. While citizens may hold this view, governments often do not. A parasite on the people, the state actually benefits from war, in both imperial and monetary means. The government and private defense contractors hold a symbiotic relationship. Together, their cooperation forms the military industrial complex.

An industrial complex is when government regulation favors certain companies to the point where that company becomes a de facto extension of the state. The nominally private organization depends on the state to survive. Industrial complexes exist in any industry the government tampers with, from agriculture to energy.

The one we will be discussing is the military industrial complex. Some of the major names in it are defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and many more. The military gives these companies contracts to build destructive weaponry for wars. Though the private sector makes the equipment, the taxpayers ultimately pay for it, due to the contracts. This accounts for a sizable portion of the overall military budget.

Political Payola

By definition, the military industrial complex is flawed and in opposition to the idea of liberty. However, what it does in our political system makes it far worse. The companies depend on a large military budget and wars to exist. Congress can easily make sure they have no shortage of either. Last year alone, defense contractors spent 65 billion dollars lobbying Congress, which makes this particularly easy. This coincidently occurred in the same year in which the military budge drastically increased to 720 billion dollars.

To put it simply, the cycle works like this. First, military contractors lobby Congress. Then, Congress continues the endless War on Terror and increase the military budget. The US taxpayers are forced to pay for this through taxes and the country goes further into debt. Finally, the defense contractors gets billions of dollars manufacturing weaponry and start the whole process again in the next fiscal year. Modern War does nothing but steal the money from the US taxpayers and give it to politicians and defense contractors. The government and the military industrial complex get rich of our money and We the People are left with the bill and the debt.

A Simple Solution

The solution to this issue is relatively simple. First, the American people must stop voting for politicians who support wars and an increased military budget. This consists of both major parties.  War, the state-sponsored killing of civilians and the unnecessary destruction of foreign nations, deserves no support. A benevolent intention does not excuse mass murder, and neither does an R or a D on a ballot. Endless war is not a national strength: it is a tyranny of a parasitical government.

Consistent Opposition

Second, the American people must stop joining the military. The state needs bodies to operate the military and its industrial complex, and with this, it can kill on grand scales. Those who join the military are actively working for the state In many cases, they are ill-informed, truly believing they are fighting for their country. Thus, it is essential to peacefully inform the public about the true nature of the military. Yes, they are serving their country, but in a way that only enables slaughter. In order to end wars, we must deprive the state of the manpower it needs.

Finally, the American people must actively speak out against the War on Terror and all unjust government actions stemming from it. We must not give our rights away. Syria, Iran, and the terrorists do not take them away; the culprit is the American government.